From time to time events ecclesiastical eclipse things political. It’s happened before and will happen again.
“I was led to believe really, that Reagan was possessed by demons. Frankly, I do believe Reagan at that time as much as Bush today was indeed possessed by the demons of manifest destiny. – Fr. Miguel d’Escoto
The Ronald Reagan library was the perfect location for the recent Republican presidential debates. The gruesome words of the Republican presidential candidates seemed to come from a séance communing with Reagan’s departed spirit.
All the candidates believe in the manifest destiny of white men to do whatever the hell they want, namely keep brown people and women under control. Their ideology can be summed up in 50 words or less:
Americans have the right to kill.
Americans love God, married couples and pregnant women.
War is good.
Ronald Reagan was a saint.
Muslims, especially Iranians, must die.
Taxes are bad.
Fetuses are sacred.
Immigrants are bad.
Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are evil.
There you have it, Republican ideology in a nutshell. If the Democrats are frightening because they are compromised and craven, the Republicans are frightening because they are true believers, the real McCoys. They openly indulge in their love of racism, violence and control.
The media allow them to make up nonsense without so much as a decent follow-up question, and that is the most frightening prospect of all. The media will take their cues from the Republicans and do their bidding. It is not inconceivable, despite the nearly universal scorn for George W. Bush, that one of these horrible men will be the next president of the United States.
The debate was not just a showcase for Republican hatred and aggression but also for media complicity. Moderator Chris Matthews is Exhibit A in the pantheon of useless American so-called journalists.
Matthews loves Republican men. The more right wing they are, the more love he gives. He called Rudy Giuliani the “perfect candidate,” opined that John McCain “deserves to be president,” and even swooned over Mitt Romney’s “perfect hair.”
Matthews can make or break candidates and he never makes a Democrat or breaks a Republican. His colleagues in corporate media may differ in style but all have determined that their bread is buttered with the GOP.
Confident that he is free to show his biases, Matthews asked the candidates, “Would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?” Matthews hated Bill Clinton and never passes up an opportunity to demean and lie about Hillary Clinton either. His question was so strange, that even the assembled gathering of savages were momentarily taken aback.
Savage may seem like too strong a word, but they spoke for themselves. Mitt Romney declared with a straight face that Muslims are trying to “bring down America” and declared that bin Laden “is going to pay and he will die.” He sounded a bit like a villain in a Bond movie, but laughter is not the appropriate response in a nation that has elected the likes of Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The only thing keeping Schwarzenegger in the audience instead of on the presidential debate stage, is the constitutional provision allowing only American born citizens to run for president. When asked point blank if that provision made sense, most candidates said yes. The racist fear of a brown, black or yellow foreigner seeking the highest office is the only thing keeping Schwarzenegger from occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
When they weren’t advocating death to Islam, Bill and Hillary, the Republicans were engaged in a strange effort to return American women back to the 1950s. All agreed that abortion is bad, even Giuliani and Romney, who couldn’t get elected to previous offices without being pro-choice. They joined their counterparts in stating that pregnant women have no rights that a white male office seeker need respect.
Giuliani declared that he hates abortion. Tom Tancredo said that overturning Roe v. Wade would be “the greatest day in this country’s history” and Sam Brownback “a glorious day of human liberty and freedom.” It certainly wouldn’t be for women, but what do they know.
All declared their intention to continue killing people in Iraq. Romney bragged that the war on terror won’t stop in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why kill in only those two countries when Iran is just a bomb’s throw away.
All the candidates agreed that Iranian president Ahmedinajad is “irrational,” that Iran supports terror around the globe, threatens a nuclear armed Israel, and is responsible for the death of every American soldier in Iraq. The debate moderator blithely asked McCain what would be the “tripwire” to attack Iran. A real journalist would have asked if there is any need to even think of attacking Iran, or why there is only one other country on earth that seems to think it is a good idea.
The media clearly favor the party that openly calls for death, violence and submission. The other party doesn’t have the nerve to speak up for itself. It is sad but accurate to say that 2008 will not be a very good year. Ronald Reagan’s demon possessed spirit may yet be happy.
MARGARET KIMBERLEY is an editor and senior columnist for the Black Agenda Report. Her Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.